"At that moment, I realized that at Pace University I would get incredible support to up-level my career. The industry experience that Pace professors have, as well as the curriculum, which is filled with practical classes where I can learn about software commonly used in big companies, helped me realize that Lubin was the place for me."
– Ligia Galvao, Class of 2020

 
Meet Ligia, an international student who has earned two degrees, as well as worked as a business analyst in Brazil for nine years. She decided that she wanted to expand her horizons and start a new chapter in her life. Hence, she is now a Lubin graduate student and she has not taken the opportunity to attend Pace for granted. Ligia has been making it a priority to interact with professors and take advantage of their office hours. While participating in Lubin-sponsored initiatives such as the Analytics Bootcamp and the Pace Pitch Contest, she has been falling in love with New York City—constantly snapping pictures of streets and corridors, and sharing them on her Instagram. 
 
You have a wonderful background in business. Why did you choose Pace University and the Lubin School of Business to continue your education?
When I was searching for a university where I could pursue my master's degree, I looked at several schools around the globe. My goal was to choose a school that would give me great experiences studying away from home and a school that had a curriculum that would improve my knowledge in the field of business analytics. As a prospective student, I sent an email to Dean Neil Braun with a couple of questions about the analytics program. He responded promptly and introduced me to the Graduate Program Chair (Marketing), Professor Ipshita Ray. They both gave me all the support I needed to make my decision. At that moment, I realized that at Pace University I would get incredible support to up-level my career. The industry experience that Pace professors have, as well as the curriculum, which is filled with practical classes where I can learn about software commonly used in big companies, helped me realize that Lubin was the place for me.
 
Tell us about your experience at the Lubin Analytics Boot Camp and what it means for your career.
I have a lot of experience in business, but I had never written a line of code before. I’ve realized that programming language skills are required for most jobs in most industries, and because of this, I looked at Pace University for some classes where I could learn that skill. Everything pointed toward the Lubin Analytics Boot Camp. What stood out about the Boot Camp was the opportunity to learn different programming languages in a short period of time. In four days, we worked intensively on hands-on, state-of-the-art tools in analytics, such as R, Python, SQL, Google Analytics, Tableau, and Excel Solver, to learn about data visualization, predictive analytics, text mining, and optimization.
 
Earning my certification in analytics was not an easy task. The Lubin Analytics Boot Camp is very competitive, and the intensive agenda is an extra challenge during boot camp. However, my background in business analysis and working with Excel helped me a lot during the program. The Lubin Analytics Boot Camp definitely prepared me to be able to help companies become more assertive in data analysis and make better decisions.
 
You were awarded second place in this year’s Entrepreneurship Lab Pace Pitch Competition. How has that experience helped you develop as a professional?
My partner and I have worked intensively for several months to develop a product that collects and analyzes unstructured data in real-time and had few interested investors. We are looking to offer our product to different markets and companies, such as drugstores, coffee shops, manufacturers, and hospitals. The first prototype had been presented during the sixth edition of Excel Weekend (the larger Excel event of Latin America) in Brazil. In a short period of time, we received invitations to present the project at diverse industry events.
 
The project was growing and we felt the need to test the business plan. We chose to enroll in The Sixteenth Annual Pace Pitch Contest because it is managed by The Entrepreneurship Lab at Pace. We know the high-level commitment and earnest work put forth by the Entrepreneurship Lab and its Executive Director, Professor Bruce Bachenheimer. It was the first time we were able to show the product outside of Brazil. This experience was a great opportunity to improve my skills in communication, leadership, and negotiation, and will have a tremendous impact on my professional life.
 
On top of being an involved student and active professional, you have a blog about business analytics; what motivates you to work so hard?
The results! I feel happy when I see companies making better decisions through data after my consulting. I really believe in data democratization and in the power of data-driven culture. As long as I find people who need to be convinced of this, I will continue to be motivated to work hard.
 
Do you have any advice for other Lubin students looking to develop their careers?
Listen to Pace professors and surround yourself with people who can add value to your career. Whenever possible, attend the workshops at Pace or the ones that your professors tell you about. I had great opportunities to meet professionals that I really admire during these workshops, such as Thomas Davenport and Jim Sterne. 
 
Additionally, try to enroll in the Lubin Analytics Boot Camp. We live in a world flooded by data and analytical skills are required for all professionals, no matter what your major is.
 
My last piece of advice is to enroll in the Alumni-Student Mentoring Program. The program, managed by the Development and Alumni Relations Office, can help international students and domestic students get a leg-up on their careers; participating in an initiative like this can also be helpful for students in finding their first jobs.
 

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